Numbed

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My brother comes home from work,
anticipated by the owls on their branches
and the locusts in their trees,
announced by the crunching of our door
and scraping of his cane along the clap wood floors.
His right hand unfolds in search of
staircase railing to wrap each finger around,
and the thin wrist tugs
the thinner arm to find
each groove in the handrail, grip
by grip.
His body,
dead from feeding
the pulse of machines all day,
edges over the last ascending stair
and follows each creak in the clap wood,
like bread crumbs in the dirt,
or roses on the carpet,
to waiting blankets and sheets
in the darkness
of a forest without a campfire
a bedtime without a candle
a man without his eyes.





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